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putz

[puhts]
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noun Slang.
  1. fool; jerk.
  2. Vulgar. penis.

Origin of putz

1900–05; < Yiddish puts literally, ornament, finery, probably noun derivative of putsn to clean, shine; compare early modern German butzen to decorate (German putzen to clean, brighten)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for putz

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • But let me tell you about the Putz that belonged to my friend of the club catacomb.

    Over Here

    Hector MacQuarrie

  • Most Moravians have a Putz in their houses at Christmas time.

    Over Here

    Hector MacQuarrie

  • All I could see then was a bunch of black ropy arms tangled around what looked like, as Putz described it to you, an ostrich.

    A Martian Odyssey

    Stanley Grauman Weinbaum

  • I let out a yell and dashed for the rocket; Putz opened the door and in I went, laughing and crying and shouting!

    A Martian Odyssey

    Stanley Grauman Weinbaum

  • He looked comically bewildered and then a fellow explained that a Putz was a decoration of German origin.

    Over Here

    Hector MacQuarrie


British Dictionary definitions for putz

putz

noun
  1. US slang a despicable or stupid person

Word Origin

from Yiddish puts ornament
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for putz

n.

"obnoxious man, fool," 1964, from Yiddish, from German putz, literally "finery, adornment," obviously used here in an ironic sense. Attested in writing earlier in slang sense of "penis" (1934, in "Tropic of Cancer"). A non-ironic sense is in putz "Nativity display around a Christmas tree" (1873), from Pennsylvania Dutch (German), which retains the old German sense.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper